Queer I Stand
I've wondered why so many people seem to be averse to doing hero-cultus to many Irish heroes, and why Cú Chulainn has not been in higher regard for many polytheists... and perhaps this is why. To be honest, before now, I've never really thought about it, because from my own perspective, Cú Chulainn is no different in this respect than any other god, or any other human for that matter. No one is sweetness and light every moment of the day, much less every moment of their entire life.
I am reminded of something Galina Krasskova said in an online video several years back (which I'm paraphrasing): it's not our job to judge the deities based on their mythologies, it's our job to love them and to serve them. We do not have to emulate their behavior, or even praise it on many occasions (especially if it is unjust), and in some cases we can even critique it. But I don't think we are benefited in any fashion by condemning or slagging off on any deity, hero, or divine ancestor's behavior, in light of the ethics of their original culture or our own.
The natural world and wider cosmos which so many modern Pagans and polytheists worship is beautiful in its ferocity, of colliding asteroids and exploding stars, of lions chasing down and eating gazelles, of spiders being devoured by their own young, just as much as fragrant lotuses on rivers at sunset, groups of male killer whales engaging in pleasurable sexual displays, or the orchestra of the wind through trees on a spring day. As awe-inspiringly and sense-splitting as the sight must have been when Aphrodite rose from the foam of the sea and severed genitals of Ouranos, so too must it have been to have seen Gaia hand Kronos the sickle to do that work. I bow my head, still my mind, and humble my heart before all of these things-as a devotional polytheist, I can do no less.
P. Sufenas Virius Lupus is a metagender and a founding member of the Ekklesía Antínoou (a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist religious group dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and other related gods and divine figures). E is a contributing member of Neos Alexandria and a Celtic Reconstructionist pagan in the filidecht and gentlidecht traditions. Follow Lupus' work on the Aedicula Antinoi blog.